Goleta and City Manager Michelle Greene have agreed to delay her impending retirement by just a few months in order to ensure a smoother transition.
Ms. Greene was set to retire on June 30 but has agreed to remain in the position until Sept. 1 as Goleta recruits a new city manager. The city council unanimously approved the extension at its weekly meeting Tuesday evening.
“We are grateful for Ms. Greene’s willingness to stay on and provide her seasoned leadership to our city as we take the time needed to find and hire the right replacement,” Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte said in a statement.
It is possible Ms. Greene’s retirement date will be extended again if more time is needed during the recruitment and appointment process, according to the city.
Goleta retained Ralph Andersen & Associates, a consulting firm based in Placer County, for recruitment and evaluation.
The recruitment period has closed, the city said in a news release this week, and a series of interviews are scheduled for June. Following interviews and background checks, negotiations with a preferred candidate will start.
The contract would need to be approved during a regular city council meeting.
Ms. Greene, Goleta’s first female city manager, has served the city for about 18 years. She is relocating to Vermont to be closer to her family.
“It has been an incredible honor and privilege to serve the Goleta community for the last 18 years, particularly during the last eight years in the role of city manager,” Ms. Greene previously said. “It is with great sadness that I must now look to ending the successful partnership with the city council, as a need to support elderly family in Vermont requires that I relocate for an indefinite period of time.
“But my heart will always be in Goleta. It is an incredibly special place, with an amazing city staff that it has been an honor to work alongside, so I know that I will leave the city in very good hands when the time comes. I wish the Goleta community all the best as the city enters the next phase of its evolution.”
Ms. Greene is credited with overseeing Goleta’s response to COVID-19, effecting the purchase of City Hall on Cremona Drive, obtaining nearly $4 million in state funding for the monarch butterfly habitat on Ellwood Mesa and creating a municipal library during her tenure as city manager, among many other things.
The city manager is responsible for overseeing all departments and staff, reviewing city council agenda material, economic development and capital investment and monitoring Goleta’s financial needs.